EU agrees a package of additional sanctions against Russia

The European Sanctions blog by Maya Lester, Brick Court Chambers & Michael O’Kane, Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP.

Further details have been published about the EU’s new package of sanctions against Russia (as we reported yesterday).  The EU has said that these restrictions will now be formally adopted by the Council through a written procedure and will apply from the day following their publication in the EU Official Journal, which is scheduled for late on 31 July (tomorrow).

The Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) of the Council of the European Union has said that the new sanctions consist of the following measures, which will apply to new contracts:

New restrictions

1) A prohibition on EU nationals and companies buying or selling bonds, equity, or similar financial instruments with a maturity exceeding 90 days, issued by major state-owned Russian banks, development banks, their subsidiaries and those acting on their behalf, “in order to restrict Russia’s access to EU capital markets”.

2) Services relating to the issuing of such financial instruments, e.g. brokering, are also prohibited.

3) An embargo on the import and export of arms and related material from/to Russia was agreed, which covers all items on the EU common military list.

4) A prohibition on exports of dual use goods and technology for military use in Russia or to Russian military end-users. All items in the EU list of dual use goods are included (see latest list in annex to regulation 428/2009).

5) Exports of certain energy-related equipment and technology to Russia will be subject to prior authorisation by competent authorities of Member States. Export licenses will be denied if products are destined for deep water oil exploration and production, arctic oil exploration or production and shale oil projects in Russia.

New designations on targeted sanctions list

8 individuals and 3 entities will be added to the list of those subject to an asset freeze and a visa ban, for “providing support to or benefiting from Russian decisions makers responsible for the destabilisation of Eastern Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea”. This brings the number of people and entities under EU restrictions to 95 persons and 23 entities.

New restrictions on Crimea and Sevastopol

The EU has also agreed on trade and investment restrictions for Crimea and Sevastopol, which compromise a ban on new investment in the following sectors in Crimea and Sevastopol: infrastructure projects in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors and in relation to the exploitation of oil, gas and minerals. Key equipment for the same 6 sectors may not be exported to Crimea and Sevastopol; finance and insurance services related to such transactions must not be provided.

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